Sailfishes are blue to gray in colour with white underbellies. They get their name from their spectacular dorsal fin that stretches nearly the length of their body and is much higher than their bodies are thick.
Fast Facts about Sailfishes
1. The sailfish is the fastest swimmer in the sea.
2. They are easily recognized by the large fin that runs from the back of the head to the tail, known as a sail.
3. The Atlantic Sailfish munches on small pelagic fish mackerels, tunas, jacks, half beaks and needlefish. Sometimes they even eat octopuses and squids. This eat on the surface sometimes but, usual feedings occur in the mid waters .They eat mostly near coral reefs edge.
4. The sail is not used for navigation purposes, but rather as a hunting or defense tool. When the Sailfish is swimming along, the sail is laid along the side of the body.
5. When feeding, the Atlantic sailfish will often herd shoals of fish into a tight group, known as a ‘bait ball’, using its dorsal fin. The sailfish will then thrash from side to side at great speed using its bill to stun the schooling fish on impact, before leisurely picking off those that are injured.
6. Sailfishes in groups and use their large fins to form a wall to prevent the prey from escaping.
7. Within a year sailfish grow to about 4 to 5 feet long.
8. A large female sailfish can release over 4 million eggs when spawning.
9. Sailfish grow quickly, reaching 1.2–1.5 m (3 ft 11 in–4 ft 11 in) in length in a single year.
10. The average lifespan of a sailfish is 5 to 7 years.